Tom Lennie threw RAGING GRACE a few questions.
Raging Grace are a band from New England, USA, whose fourth album 'Strand Of Three Chords' has received a rave review in this issue of Cross Rhythms. They describe their music as "guitar-driven rock steeped in the blues; the message is pure gospel."
Tom: Can you tell us a little about the history of Raging Grace.
Raging Grace: We've been around for about 13 years and are writing for our fifth CD. Our ministry call to date has been to New England and we tour between Pennsylvania and Maine. We average 35 or so gigs a year and work day jobs. A few years back, we were privileged to serve as Darrell Mansfield's band when he did a brief tour in New England. Our general concert circuit covers coffeehouses, festivals, prisons and biker events.
Tom: How has the band developed over the years?
Raging Grace: The greatest change was probably when we shifted to a trio format. We all changed our playing style and were more intentional about the use of space within our music. It's also probably about that point that we began to embrace the blues a little more fully. People respond well to the honesty and emotional intensity of the blues.
Tom: I notice that you tour regularly, including appearances at biker's events. What reaction do you get generally from a non-Christian audience?
Raging Grace: It varies. For a number of years we played at bike week in Laconia, New Hampshire. Some folks would listen for a minute, then laugh and walk on. Others would listen but avoided conversation. And there are always those who can't wait to chat. While music has the ability to divide, we find it to be a common platform to alight the people with. There's often, within the biker community, a refreshing lack of pretence when it comes to spiritual issues; those who have been forgiven much, love much.
Tom: What music do you listen to personally?
Raging Grace: Stevie Ray, Allman Bros, Glenn Kaiser, Darrell Mansfield, Johnny A, King's X, Cry Of Love, Eric Gales, Sonny Landreth.
Tom: Do you ever trim your beards?
Raging Grace: Only when it starts to catch in our guitar strings!The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.